Sifting Through the Jargon – And Making it Work for You!
The terms mission, vision, values, strategy, and tactics are commonly used in business. They can be very useful. But too often they are overused and misused. A mentor and former boss of mine, Neil Rackham, once said, “If words could sue for defamation, strategy would be making its lawyers rich!” Let’s face it, these terms have a lot of different meanings to people and often devolve in to vague corporate-speak.
But, when used correctly, they have real power and provide a strong rudder for directing people and driving your business. It’s important to be proficient in these high-minded management terms so that you can understand their meaning and use them to effectively guide your organization.
I’ve taught a course for University of North Carolina – Keenan Flagler School of Business on this very topic. My intent was to decode the management lexicon and make it pragmatic for everyday use with clear and straightforward terms. Here is a journalistic approach to understanding the top five:
Mission – Why we exist
Vision – Where we are going
Values – Who we are
Strategy – What we are doing
Execution and Tactics – How we are going to do it
Don’t allow the jargon to make words lose meaning. Use these terms to create clarity, direction, and definition for the work to be done.